MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

A politically weaponized FBI is nothing new, but plenty dangerous | TheHill

Posted by M. C. Fox on October 12, 2018

But the Founding Fathers never intended a secret police force to be an independent fourth branch of the federal government. As James Madison warned in 1788, “Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/392084-a-politically-weaponized-fbi-is-nothing-new-but-plenty-dangerous

BY JAMES BOVARD

The Justice Department Inspector General is expected to release on Thursday its report on alleged FBI misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump supporters and opponents are already pre-spinning the report to vindicate or undercut the president. Unfortunately, the report will not consider fundamental question of whether the FBI’s vast power and secrecy is compatible with American democracy.

According to some Republicans, the FBI’s noble history was tainted by its apparent favoritism for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Democrats have gyrated over the past 18 months, first blaming the FBI for Clinton’s loss and then exalting the FBI (along with former FBI chief and Special Counsel Robert Mueller) as the best hope to save the nation.

In reality, the FBI has been politically weaponized for almost a century. The FBI was in the forefront of the notorious Red Scare raids of 1919 and 1920. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer reportedly hoped that arresting nearly 10,000 suspected radicals and immigrants would propel his presidential campaign. Federal Judge Anderson condemned Palmer’s crackdown for creating a “spy system” that “destroys trust and confidence and propagates hate.” He said, “A mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the Department of Justice, or of criminals, loafers, and the vicious classes.”

After the Palmer raids debacle, the FBI turned its attention to U.S. senators, “breaking into their offices and homes, intercepting their mail, and tapping their telephones,” as Timothy Weiner noted in his 2012 book, “Enemies: The History of the FBI”…

In 1964, the FBI illegally wiretapped Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s presidential headquarters and plane and conducted background checks on his campaign staff for evidence of homosexual activity. The FBI also conducted an extensive surveillance operation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention to prevent embarrassing challenges to President Lyndon Johnson.

From 1956 to 1971, the FBI carried out “a secret war against those citizens it considers threats to the established order,” a 1976 Senate report noted. The FBI’s Operation COINTELPRO involved thousands of covert operations to incite street warfare between violent groups, to get people fired, to portray innocent people as government informants, to destroy activists’ marriages, and to cripple or destroy left-wing, black, communist, white racist, and anti-war organizations. Even feminists were eventually added to the target list…

The first step to reining in the FBI is to open the agency’s files. Oversight is often a mirage thanks to  FBI spurning of congressional subpoenas and other information demands. Federal judges have been riled by FBI false testimony and withholding of evidence in major court cases ranging from Ruby RidgeWacoOrlando Pulse Massacre, and Bundy Ranch showdown. The FBI has perennially exempted itself from the Freedom of Information Act

It is time for another independent investigation with the courage and the clout to compel full disclosure from the most powerful domestic government agency…

Be seeing you

hoover

The FIB man is your friend.

 

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